For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Pledges to convert over 11,700 acres to pollinator habitat to protect the monarch butterfly
DES PLAINES, Ill. (June 21, 2021) – This Pollinator Week, June 21-27, 2021, ComEd is installing two beehives in its right-of-way in Des Plaines, Ill., for the second year in a row, to raise awareness about the urgent need to promote pollinator populations and their valuable contributions to the ecosystem. Thousands of honeybees will reside amongst acres of wildflowers ComEd planted as part of its prairie restoration efforts. The beehives will be maintained by a professional beekeeper, ensuring the health of the colonies, and collecting the honey that will later be donated to a local food pantry for families in need.
For 26 years, ComEd has supported pollinator habitats and biodiversity by transforming transmission line rights-of-way throughout northern Illinois into welcoming places for pollinators to live, including spreading over 2 million milkweed seeds and planting hundreds of acres of native prairie plants. In December 2020, ComEd applied for a Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the monarch butterfly. The company pledges under its CCAA to convert over 11,700 acres of rights-of-way to pollinator habitat to protect the monarch, which is significantly threatened.
"Pollinators are essential to preserving a healthy ecosystem in the communities we serve," said Neena Hemmady, vice president of Support Services at ComEd. "We embrace our responsibility to protect wildlife and habitats—using our resources to help pollinator species recover and thrive, and strategies that have the added benefit of enhancing the safety and reliability of the energy service we provide customers."
ComEd's pollinator support extends beyond transmission line corridors. It supports pollinator projects through its Green Region grant program which, since 2012, has funded the planning, acquisition, and improvement of local parks, natural areas, and recreation resources across northern Illinois. In 2017, the grant program, which ComEd administers with Openlands, one of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation, began to focus on projects that help pollinators like butterflies and bees. Since then, ComEd has awarded nearly $360,000 in grants to 43 pollinator projects across the areas ComEd serves.
Many flowering plants and staple crops rely on animal pollinators for reproduction. Bees, butterflies, birds, and more than 200,000 other pollinator species are responsible for one out of every three bites of food humans eat and $20 billion worth of products annually in the United States. But pollinators face a growing threat of habitat loss as native vegetation is replaced by roadways, monoculture, and non-native plants, and their well-being is further threatened by humans' overuse of pesticides and by climate change. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists dozens of critical pollinators as endangered or threatened.
Pollinator Week is organized by Pollinator Partnership, the largest nonprofit organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems.
For more information about Pollinator Week, including how to get involved, visit pollinator.org.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
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